the portal

the portal
note from self

from a young age
she knew this was true
the heart is a door
not just a functional pump
keeping body alive—
the metaphorical one
the gateway to knowing
to opening
to wonder
she wanted to share
were others aware?
not her atheist parents
that was for sure
she went clandestine
tried her best to fit in
til she could leave home
and find her own tribe—
it took fifty years and
a wandering path
to discover her home
is closer than close
her heart is
a portal to here

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

late-night encounter

late-night encounter

for Conny

2 a.m. wakeup
cradle my arm
toddle down hallway
sleepy, unsteady
headed for fridge
whole-milk yogurt
good bed for pain meds
I’m at a retreat
tiny cell a nun’s cloister
five-hanger closet
narrow bed, desk and sink
my home for a week
I find kitchenette
open yogurt one-handed
four spoonfuls enough
long highway toward home
my pill and to bed
neighbor emerges
says something soft
but I can’t understand
point to my ears
woman enunciates
“are you in pain?”
I nod, “yes I am”
she says “bless your heart”
her spirit flows forth
enfolds me in
warmth and affection
tears spring to my throat
clog there—oh!
the kindness of strangers

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

vow to herself

vow to herself
note from self

pick a petal
drop a petal
pick a petal
drop a petal
a clearer mantra
than he loves me
he loves me not
see-two not-two
see-two not-two
all around the blossom

love one another
see the other as you
for there is no other
only a rainbow mirage of
ten trillion things
it’s an enigma of course
the one and the many
see-two not-two
see-two not-two
a refreshed daisy game

she has always
stayed true
kept her eye
on the star
anxious or not
frightened or not
heartbroken or not
this matters more
this matters most
this is what matters

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

you shattered her cage

you shattered her cage
note from self

hands together
she bowed in
a sign of respect—
you shattered
her cage, her terrain
of misunderstanding
with precise, spare
and elegant words
reoriented her to the
big field of knowing
she cannot unsee—
ruined, she smiles

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

edgewalking

edgewalking
note to self

you walk the edge
along paradox
negotiating the rim
with care—watch out!
you can stumble—
canyon on one side
crevasse on the other

you might go adrift in
the dark side of a story
or the bright—
can they both be true?
try this—embrace them

oh yes, it’s uncomfortable
sometimes agonizing
also boundless and free
balance on that

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

doorway through emptiness

doorway through emptiness
note to self

emptiness is not the goal
although it is a pirouette
along the way—
there is no goal

find the doorway through
emptiness—return to the
world wholehearted and
open and kind and
welcome ambiguity—
that is your gold

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

the doorway

the doorway
note to self

what a weird safeguard
to ward off calamity—
when has fright for
your child unfolded
exactly as you imagined?
not once

at the back of your mind
is a doorway—when
you’ve concocted
tormenting nightmares
it’s the way out of
misshapen thinking

stride through that door
straight into the arms
of not-knowing
welcome her embrace
yes, stories will play—
be gracious, be thoughtful
and don’t touch them

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

head upstream

head upstream
note to self

like a sockeye salmon
returning to her birthplace
head upstream
push against the current
look prior to thought
buck those falls
dive deep when the
grizzly paw swipes
find your original home

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

a pierced heart

a pierced heart
note to self

your heart is pierced
in myriad ways—
fox kits tumble in the
field, hummers sip
the columbine, you
cuddle a dying friend

be pierced by silence
amazed by the clear
light of knowing—
expect miracles and
see them everywhere
do not fear it, for
a pierced heart lets
the light pour out and in

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

stay rooted to somewhere

stay rooted to somewhere
note to self

we all need home—
the question is, where?
place provides a nest
but for you, being
grounded and awake in your
heart center is prescribed
root yourself there

thank you to Naomi Shihab Nye for the title phrase

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.